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What Causes Poor Home Ventilation And How Can It Be Rectified?

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What Causes Poor Home Ventilation And How Can It Be Rectified?

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, 72% of our lives our spent indoors, which is a staggering amount of time to breathe in harmful pollutants and compounds. Furthermore, all of us understandably want to be comfortable, and this can be inhibited by poor home ventilation. When air is recirculated throughout a confined space problems mount exponentially, so it would behoove every property owner to address any potential issues. But what are the causes of poor home ventilation, the complications they induce, and the solutions to this dilemma?

Causes

Initially, poor structure in the construction of a house can contribute to less than stellar ventilation. Air needs to go into and out of the home with ease, and an incorrect floor plan can be the difference between having a fresh supply or a dangerous one. Additionally, the materials a house is built with also occasionally seal off areas that need to be used for the movement of air.

Old filters and destructive factors brought inside also curb ventilation by lingering and hampering the passage of 'new' air. A few of these include:

  • ♣ Smoking
  • ♣ Cleaning Supplies
  • ♣ Furnishings

Consequences

Poor home ventilation is often the culprit for those experiencing routine breathing problems, as well as coughing. With no area for it to escape, dander and other various impurities remain stagnant in the air and can cause all sorts of issues for your body, in addition to just being a nuisance. It is a myth that just because you do not make an emergency room visit that you are fine from the air you are breathing in. Mold and especially chemicals have adverse effects on your sinuses and lungs. If you have allergies your symptoms will worsen, and even fatigue can set in from lack of fresh oxygen. Moreover, the smell is extremely unpleasant and harder to get rid of the longer it has been 'trapped.'

Condensation is another downside to bad ventilation, and not in the way you might think. If you have ever come across your toilet appearing to 'leak' without having holes, this is due to your water tank being too warm. Bathrooms need to have constant air to keep the tank cool. The condensation that forms on your toilet is a huge mess and not a quick cleanup if it has accumulated through the night. Additional consequences comprise of:

  • ♣ Humid air
  • ♣ Rotting wood
  • ♣ Creating potential fire hazards

Solutions

There are several ways to circumvent problematic airflow, and the first of which is the use of strategically placed fans. Whether it be floor fans, or even more popularly, ceiling fans, either type will do the trick. Obviously the wind these create does not clean the air, but they are helpful in shifting unwanted particles to different areas of the room or outdoors. Also, fans have been proven to reduce the risks of mold and mildew inside the home by constantly keeping the air moving throughout. Even though the usage of fans is not foolproof, the foul smells and other issues created by poor ventilation will subside over time.

Window screens are very advantageous in your fight against limited ventilation, but it goes without saying that these are not practical year round, especially during the colder months. That said, they are a pleasant addition in warm climates and help fresh air enter your home at all hours of the day. Using screens in conjunction with fans is also ideal because you can direct airflow wherever you are experiencing problems.

In some instances an overhaul of your home's construction may be needed to solve all of your ventilation concerns, however frequently this can be avoided by updating filters, windows and doors. A simple swapping of your air conditioner's screen can do the trick, and windows that can be cracked are also recommended. Also, doors should never go all the way to the ground or ceiling. Even when a door is closed, the space at the bottom and top brings in necessary air. Some makeshift ways to promote better ventilation are:

  • ♣ Vacuuming the impurities from your carpets
  • ♣ Washing the cracks and crevices outside your home
  • ♣ Running Central Air (or your source of flow) 3 to 5 times a week to avoid duct blockage

Conclusion

Rectifying poor home ventilation is not just great for your health, but your bills as well. Properly vented homes use less energy because the air needed to maintain a comfortable living space is not nearly as much as those that need a source of flow in every room. Newer houses are now incorporating energy efficient ventilation into their designs, but even if you have an older property, some extensive cleaning in accordance with a few inexpensive purchases can eliminate the issue swiftly.


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